When I got out of the psych ward in my Sophomore year, I only went deeper into myself. The forced therapy was a joke, I had learned how to tell them exactly what they needed to hear so that they would free me after the required six weeks.
And I could just disappear into myself and distance myself from all that was going on around me. I don’t know why disassociation is such a popular coping mechanism for people when they are experiencing trauma. My brain was literally tripping inside my skull trying to figure out who I was, what I was and why I was still here.
I listened to Jim Morrison incessantly.
Your brain seems bruised with numb surprise
Still one place to go
Your fingers weave quick minarets
Speak in secret alphabets
I light another cigarette
Learn to Forget
I just couldn’t. I just couldn’t do that and function as a college student. I couldn’t unravel the mystery of Sara then. It was obviously going to kill me if I tried to do it at this time. So, I had to stop.
This is when the nightmares started.
I would be walking or standing or even sitting on the side of a road and a truck full of crates or a bunch of really high shelves or a stack of logs would come tumbling down on top of me and I would wake up screaming. For years, I would have this nightmare. I have always been hyper-vigilant in my sleep. If you touch me, I jump a mile , ready to fight you. But this added a new layer to my sleeping. So I preferred to stay awake all night and sleep during the day.
I had to block it all out. I couldn’t go on any other way. My grades had suffered badly. I had lost my scholarship, so I had to take on a second job.
I got a job at the bookstore. Which is the best job I have ever had in my life. I worked there the rest of my time at UB.
And my job at the bookstore afforded me the ability to stay up in Buffalo for the summer at work and take classes. But I didn’t have housing, so I had to stay in Orchard Park and take the bus in every day.